Object 45

The Holder of Peace

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. Storm up to the front desk with a look of rage on your face, and demand to see a person who calls themselves "The Holder of Peace" immediately. The attendant will recoil, and ask you to speak softly. Do not comply with his request - if anything; speak louder - for the anger in your voice is all that keeps the chains locked on the door behind the desk.

Keep the anger in your voice - the attendant will duck under his desk and point with a quivering finger down a hall to the right that was not there before. Immediately turn and stomp off down the hall. Do not look over your shoulder, for should the attendant catch you - and he will - he will casually lean back and flip the lock off the door behind him.

Walk until you find a door with a beautiful mother-of-pearl inlay design. Throw it open, but take the rage off your face immediately - the ones inside do not appreciate such anger.

With a peaceful look across your face, enter. You are in a beautiful, open-aired temple, with ivy curling up the marble pillars and beautiful mosaics embroidering the walls. The door will lock behind you. Do not try to open it, for it never will, and the monks in brown robes you see wandering about will do anything to get you to stay - even if it means your death.

Wander around. No matter what language you speak, the monks speak it too. They're friendly, and all of them would love to chat, but politely decline. Tell them you must speak with the Head of the Order.

Eventually, you will be directed to a man sitting at a chessboard - the temple's abbot. The figure across from him is hooded and wearing armor. Do not attempt to speak to the hooded figure, or your death will be far worse than any vision of hell that man could conjure up. Instead, turn to the man in the now-familiar brown robes. The game is one move away from checkmate.

Bow, and ask nicely, "Why do they gather, Father?"

He will open his mouth as if to speak. But the figure across from him will let out a demonic howl of rage and draw a sword. It is beautifully crafted, but seems somehow stained with an unthinkable evil. With a yell, the figure will kick you down and begin systematically slaughtering the other monks. They will try to fight back, but they have only staves, and the sword the madman wields is so sharp that it slices through the pillars like a knife through butter.

As you are watching this, the abbot will make the final move in the game. The man in armor will swing around, and then run at you with the sword upraised.

If you were rude or did something wrong, you will be rent at the atomic level by the blade of the sword, and the pain will never cease. However, if you were polite, the abbot will step in front of you and jam the black king into the right eye of the warrior.

Pay no heed or sympathy as he falls to the ground, screaming, or the abbot will whirl around and do the same to you with the white king. Instead, focus on the abbot, who has now turned around to face you.

He will tell you why they gather. It is a long tale, so fraught with bloodshed and horror that it may very well snap your mind. But if you survive its telling, he will reach under the table with the chessboard and pass you a scabbard richly jeweled and inlaid with gold. Though you have never seen it before, you instinctively know that it matches the sword the warrior was wielding a moment ago. Do not hesitate - take it, walk over, pick up the madman's sword, wipe it, and sheath it. Buckle it on as well - you will have need of it.

Move to leave, but before you do, the good Father will halt you and gesture toward the, now unhooded, face of the warrior. He was handsome, but pay no heed to that. The one thing you should be focusing on is the fact that the black king is gone. Look up at the abbot, who will nod and say one word: "Regicide".

A flash of light will blind you, and when your sight returns you will be standing on the curb two blocks down from the asylum or halfway house. Step back onto the sidewalk - you don't want to have an accident.

The sword you now wield once belonged to the white king, and is Object 45 of 2538. The Black King is running from the scene of his murder, and the White King's sword longs for vengeance.